The Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology is located in the former HP campus in Loveland. Ken Amundson/BizWest

Local group to buy former Hewlett-Packard facility in Loveland

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the purchase price and the size of the facility.

LOVELAND — A Loveland coalition of business people has organized to buy the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology for $15.5 million.

The organization, led by Jay Dokter and Dan Kamrath, has placed the facility, known locally as the former Hewlett-Packard complex at Taft Avenue and 14th Street SW, under contract with a deal expected to close at the end of the month.

The facility had been listed with CBRE commercial real estate firm for $22.8 million. Its current owners, Cumberland & Western Resources LLC, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, bought it from the city of Loveland in 2011 for $5 million.

RMCIT LLC is the organization buying the facility; it was registered with the Colorado Secretary of State, Sept. 12, with Kamrath as the registered agent. Kamrath and Dokter are co-founders of The Warehouse Business Accelerator. Dokter, who is CEO of the new organization, is also CEO of Vergent Products Inc. in Loveland.

RMCIT raised $7 million in private investments and has secured financing for the remainder. It will not be asking the city of Loveland for assistance in the deal.

The coalition of local business people said in a written statement that it was “pleasantly surprised how the Loveland business community rose to the occasion. Everyone  recognized how important this unique property is for Loveland and could see the opportunity and vision for the future.”  

“From an economic perspective, we are delighted that the Loveland business community took the initiative to make this happen” said Kelly Jones, Loveland economic development director. “This building once housed nearly 4,000 employees, and it is an exciting prospect to have these jobs return to Loveland. I am also pleased this new entity did not seek city of Loveland funding or subsidies. It understands the financial situation the city is in and is doing its part to help our community.”

“We have great respect for the property and believe we can help to unlock its potential,” Dokter said. “The new company is working directly with the sellers, Cumberland & Western, to close on the purchase and they have been extremely helpful to ensure a smooth transition.” 

“We have known and worked with many of the Loveland city and business leaders throughout the years,” said Bill Murphree, president of Cumberland & Western. “We have enjoyed a very positive working relationship and are thrilled that the Loveland business community stepped up and want to  see RMCIT grow to the next level and impact the community in a positive way.” 

Steve Adams, city manager, said the city learned through meetings with the new owners that the company has plans to house additional companies in the facility, which encompasses about 811,000 square feet of space on 177 acres of land. The facility’s largest occupant now is Lightning eMotors, formerly Lightning Systems, a manufacturer of systems to convert delivery trucks to electrical power.

RMCIT LLC will retain the name Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology as well as the existing signage, website and other branding for  the facility. RMCIT LLC will also retain the current key staff members who manage the property. “We felt that continuity is critical, plus these individuals have managed the property for more than 20 years and they know every square foot of the facility,” Dokter said. 

The local business team purchasing the property said it believes the timing is ideal for several reasons. “The property was designed for offices and manufacturing and therefore has all the power and infrastructure needed, and we are observing a trend toward onshoring manufacturing. This property  is also affordable and with the cost of new construction skyrocketing, this property will be in high demand. Additionally, with the increase in social awareness regarding climate change, repurposing a structurally sound facility instead of building a new one demonstrates social responsibility,” the organization said in a written statement.

The purchase price translates to $19.11 per square foot.